Your views about the aerospace industry and our reporting.

Steer clear of sensationalism

I take exception to the language used in the Comment section regarding the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 accident (Flight International, February 2023).

Language such as “airbrushing”, “being kept out of the spotlight”, “concocted ludicrous claims” and “the crew effectively lost control at wheels-up” have no place in a reputable magazine such as Flight International, given its wide readership.

Ethiopian 737 Max 8

Source: LLBG Spotter/Wikimedia Commons

Ethiopian 737 Max crash report omissions divided opinion

Although not a report, it would serve the aviation industry better if any public comment on an official accident report followed best practice by abiding by the Report Writing Conventions (editorial standards) of ICAO Doc. 9756, Manual of Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation Part IV, Appendix 2 to Chapter 1.

This would ensure that such comment would not “reflect prejudice against any party”.

Richard Lambo

Lagos, Nigeria

Editor’s reply: Our monthly Comment article is an opinion piece, intentionally written using a different tone to that employed in our news reporting. The article in question sought to briefly summarise a full factual analysis of the Ethiopian accident investigation report published in the same issue, and specifically the significant concerns voiced by French and US counterparts over its glaring omissions regarding the actions of the crew. We do not prepare articles following ICAO report writing standards, but do so without prejudice: in this case, to highlight that only by completing a full and thorough investigation process can regulators, the industry and airlines ensure that such tragedies can be averted in the future.

Accidents will happen

Regarding your report about the mid-air collision between a Cirrus SR22 and Swearingen Metroliner near Centennial airport in Colorado in May 2021 (, 8 April 2023): I see airliners badly overshoot the centreline all the time.

Damaged Metroliner

Source: NTSB

Damaged Metroliner made a safe landing at Centennial airport

I’ve seen a Boeing 747 go blowing through the localiser so badly that all I could see was the dirty side of the aircraft from the cockpit of my regional jet as the pilot tried to correct. I lined up half a mile off to the side until the jumbo got sorted out.

Mid-air collisions happen, and people survive them. Airports are the most dangerous place you can fly a plane, and everyone has to be on their game.

The Federal Aviation Administration will make this a “teachable moment”, most likely. People make mistakes, and in this case they were lucky enough to be able to learn from them.

Airliners have hit each other too in the past – that’s what led to the creation of the modern air traffic control system.

The SR22 is fast, and I can see it getting way ahead of an inexperienced pilot – but I see that all the time in airliners too.

Rick Brennan

Aurora, Colorado, USA

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